As we age and our hearing begins to change or diminish, activities that we enjoy — like watching TV and movies — can become more difficult. For deaf individuals or people who are hard of hearing, cable boxes, satellite television, streaming services, and more offer closed captions and subtitles to make watching your favorite shows more accessible. Here, is an in-depth look at how to turn captions on and off across all of your TV devices.

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Xfinity | Spectrum | Cox | DirecTV | DISH | Hulu | Netflix | Amazon Prime | Disney+ | YouTube | Roku | Apple TV | Samsung TV Plus

Cable Boxes

If you have a cable box through Xfinity, Spectrum, or Cox, you can learn how to turn closed captions on and off, as well as customize them to your preferences.

Xfinity

Xfinity Closed Captioning

If you use Xfinity for your cable services, there are a few different ways to access closed captioning controls.

With a remote:

  1. Turn on the program you want to watch.
  2. Press the DOWN arrow or OK button on the remote.
  3. Press the LEFT arrow to move to CLOSED CAPTIONING CC.
  4. Press OK on the remote.
  5. Choose to turn captions ON or OFF.

With voice control:

  1. Choose a show to watch.
  2. Find and hold the MICROPHONE button on your remote.
  3. Say “ACCESSIBILITY” into the microphone on the remote to bring up accessibility settings.
  4. Click on REMOTE SHORTCUT and select CLOSED CAPTIONING.
  5. Press OK to save options.

When you want to turn captions on or off for any given show, simply press the B button twice to access your remote shortcut and select a captioning preference.

With Accessibility Settings:

  1. Turn your show on.
  2. Press the B button on the remote to open accessibility settings.
  3. Press OK to turn captions on or off.

You can also customize Xfinity caption choices by selecting CLOSED CAPTIONING OPTIONS, where you can change the font size, color, and formatting of your subtitles.


Spectrum

Spectrum Close Captioning

Follow these simple steps to turn captions on or off with Spectrum.

  1. Press MENU on your remote control.
  2. Scroll to SETTINGS & SUPPORT then press OK/SELECT.
  3. Click on the ACCESSIBILITY tab.
  4. Choose between CLOSED CAPTIONING or DESCRIPTIVE VIDEO SERVICE to turn captions on or off.

If you want to customize your Spectrum captions, click on CLOSED CAPTIONING SETTINGS from the ACCESSIBILITY tab. Here you can change:

  • Presentation settings — How captions appear on the screen.
  • Text settings — Color, transparency, text size, font type, and character edge.
  • Background settings — Color and transparency.
  • Language settings — Primary language, secondary language, and additional captioning tracks.
  • Closed captioning type — Standard and easy reader captioning.

Cox

Cox

Turning subtitles on or off with Cox services will depend on which receiver you have. Follow the steps for your receiver type to get started.

On Contour Receiver 1:

If you have the Cox Contour Receiver 1, follow these easy steps to turn captions on or off.

  1. Press the CC button on your Cox remote.
  2. Push the DOWN ARROW to open audio options.
  3. Select CLOSED CAPTIONING and press SELECT to turn captions on or off.

You can also change Cox caption options to better fit your needs, including font size, style, color, and opacity as well as background color, window color, and more. Follow these easy steps to get started.

  1. Press the MENU button on your remote.
  2. Move up or down to get to GUIDE OPTIONS, press SELECT.
  3. Click on which options you want t change, then exit the menu to return to your programming.

On Contour Receiver 2:

For the Cox Contour Receiver 2, follow these steps to access your closed captions.

  1. When you are watching TV, press the DOWN arrow on your remote to view the closed captions shortcut.
  2. Press OK to turn captions on or off.

To change caption features, make sure captions are turned on before following these steps.

  1. Press the DOWN arrow on your remote.
  2. Click on CLOSED CAPTIONING OPTIONS then press OK.
  3. Select which feature you want to change, make the change, then press OK.

You can customize the subtitle language, font size, color, and formatting to suit yourself.

Satellite Television

Turning on closed captions on subtitles on DirecTV or DISH is fairly simple and straightforward. Find your provider below to get started.

DirecTV

DirecTV Closed Captioning

It is extremely easy to turn subtitles on and off with DirecTV. Simply follow these steps to get started.

  1. Press the INFO button on your remote control.
  2. Press the RIGHT ARROW button to get to CC.
  3. Select CC and captions will turn on or off.

You can personalize DirecTV caption options with the following steps.

  1. Press the MENU button on your remote.
  2. Click on the SETTINGS option.
  3. Press the RIGHT ARROW button to get to the ACCESSIBILITY option, press SELECT.
  4. Navigate using the UP and DOWN ARROW buttons to the options you need and press SELECT.
  5. Make the changes you want (font size, font color, or background color) then press EXIT on your remote to return to your program.

DISH

Dish

To access closed captions on DISH, follow these quick steps.

With a remote:

  1. Press the RED button or the OPTIONS button twice, depending on your remote control.
  2. Click on the CC icon to turn captions on or off.

To personalize DISH captions, follow these steps.

  1. Press the MENU button once or the HOME button twice, depending on your remote.
  2. Click on the SETTINGS options.
  3. Click on CLOSED CAPTIONING.
  4. Select caption preferences such as text color, size, and style, and background color and opacity.

You can also set up other accessibility options, including audio description, screen magnification, and text to speech through DISH’s settings menu.

Streaming Services

As streaming services become the more popular option for television viewing, it is a pleasure to make sure these services work best for you. Learn more about turning subtitles on and off on all your favorite streaming services.

Hulu

Hulu

On Hulu, subtitles and closed captions can be managed within each individual profile. They can also be turned on and off based on the content you’re watching.

On the TV:

First, choose the show you want to watch, then follow these easy steps.

  1. With the show playing, press the UP button to bring up the playback bar.
  2. Press UP again to open the SETTINGS menu.
  3. Scroll to CAPTIONS & SUBTITLES and turn them on or off.

If you are still using the “classic” version of Hulu, follow these steps.

  1. With the show playing, press UP on your remote.
  2. Press UP again for more options.
  3. Click on the CAPTIONS button and select your preferred caption language or turn subtitles off.

On Mobile Device:

If you are watching Hulu through the mobile app, select a show to watch to get started.

  1. While the show plays, tap the screen to bring up different options, then click on the SETTINGS icon when it pops up.
  2. Navigate to SUBTITLES & CAPTIONS, then select auto (which always turns on captions), and on or off.
  3. Press the X button to save your choices and close the settings menu to return to your show.

Formatting Hulu Captions

Hulu also allows you to customize your captions and subtitles to make them easier to read. You can change a variety of captions features, including (Font, Font color, Font opacity, Font scaling, Font edge style, Background opacity, Background color, Window opacity, Window color, Presentation).

On the TV:

To format Hulu captions on your TV, head to the HOME page of Hulu and follow these steps.

  1. Select the ACCOUNT ICON.
  2. Choose SETTINGS, then SUBTITLES & CAPTIONS.
  3. Adjust features.
  4. Press the Back button to save preferences and return to the HOME screen.

On the App:

In the Hulu app, click on the PROFILE button in the bottom right corner, then follow these steps.

  1. Click on the SETTINGS button.
  2. Select SUBTITLES & CAPTIONS.
  3. Select preferences (the Hulu app shows a preview of your captioning choices to ensure you like what you choose).
  4. Press the BACK button three times to save your choices and return to the HOME screen.

Hulu captions can also be displayed in English or Spanish, to further customize your subtitles.


Netflix

Netflix

Get started with Netflix subtitles by starting a show that you want to watch then following these steps based on your streaming device.

On the app:

  1. Play the show.
  2. Tap the screen.
  3. Click on the DIALOG icon.
  4. Turn captions on or off and select the preferred subtitle language.

On TV, Blu-ray players, or gaming systems:

  1. PLAY your show.
  2. Press the UP or DOWN arrow on the remote.
  3. Click on the DIALOG icon.
  4. Make subtitle changes.

On Apple TV 2 or 3:

  1. PLAY your show.
  2. Hold down the center button on the Apple TV remote.
  3. Click on the DIALOG icon.
  4. Select caption options.

On Apple TV 4 or Apple TV 4K:

  1. PLAY the show.
  2. Swipe down on the Apple TV remote.
  3. Click on the DIALOG icon.
  4. Choose subtitle options.

Netflix brings up five to seven language options for your captions based on your location and language settings in your main profile, making it easy to choose your preferred language for your subtitles.


Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime subtitles can be easily configured from your Amazon account, or via the Prime app.

From Amazon:

  1. Go to your account and click on SETTINGS.
  2. Select DEVICE then MANAGE ACCESSIBILITY.
  3. Click on HEARING SETTINGS and turn subtitles ON.

When you manage subtitles and captions through your Amazon account, it allows Prime to automatically display subtitles when they are available.

On the app:

  1. Start the show you want to watch.
  2. Tap the screen to bring up MENU, click on it.
  3. Select SUBTITLES and turn them on or off (you can also customize font size and color from this area of the menu).
  4. When you want to turn captions on or off for any given show, simply press the B button twice to access your remote shortcut and select a captioning preference.
  5. Tap outside the subtitle menu to return to your show.

Amazon Prime captioning can be turned on or off from a web browser when you choose to watch something on a laptop or desktop computer.


Disney+

Disney Plus

Disney+ subtitles are straightforward for every device, including:

  • iOS
  • Web browser
  • Android
  • Xbox
  • Playstation
  • LG TV
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • Other smart TVs

Follow these simple steps to turn Disney+ captions on or off.

  1. Start playing your show.
  2. Use your remote to select the KEYBOARD icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Choose your caption language and settings.
  4. Press the X in the top right corner to return to your show.

You can also make additional adjustments for Disney+ captions on a few different devices like iOS, Android, Xbox, and Playstation.


YouTube

YouTube

YouTube captions and subtitles are set up the same way, regardless of the device you are watching on. Additionally, it is important to note that if you are watching videos from a YouTube account that you have created, you would have selected a preferred language for your account and that language will be the default whenever you turn the captions on.

On the computer:

Choose the YouTube video you want to watch and let it start playing, then follow these steps.

  1. CLICK on the video screen.
  2. Select the CC icon to turn captions on or off.

On the app:

When you are watching YouTube through the app, select the video you want to watch and let it start playing, then follow these steps.

  1. TAP the screen to bring up control options.
  2. Click on the CC icon to turn captions on or off.

To customize your captions further, click on the three dots icon to open the video menu. The fourth option on the list is CAPTIONS and you can click here to change the language of your video subtitles.

Streaming Devices

In addition to streaming services, streaming devices make it possible to access all your favorite services in one location. Discover how to turn captions on and off for all your streaming devices.

Roku

Roku

Captions on a Roku can be turned on or off from the device itself, or within individual channels that you’ve downloaded.

On the device:

  1. Press the HOME button on the Roku remote.
  2. Click on the SETTINGS option.
  3. Click on ACCESSIBILITY or CAPTIONS, depending on what is displayed in the menu.
  4. Select CAPTIONS MODE and decide how you want the subtitles to appear, including:
    • Off
    • On always
    • On replay
    • On mute

During a show:

  1. Click on CLOSED CAPTIONING.
  2. Turn captions on or off.

By channel:

If you cannot turn captions on or off through your remote during playback or on the Roku device, you may need to do it through downloaded channels. The most common Roku channels are Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and YouTube. Follow the in-app directions listed above for those streaming services.

Customize captions:

  1. Press the HOME button on the Roku remote.
  2. Click on the SETTINGS option.
  3. Click on ACCESSIBILITY, then CAPTION STYLE.
  4. Change the options that you want (text style, size, and color, and more)

Exit out of the menu to save your Roku caption preferences and return to your show.


Apple TV

Apple TV

Turn on Apple TV captions by following these steps.

  1. Go to SETTINGS on your Apple TV.
  2. Click on ACCESSIBILITY, then SUBTITLES AND CAPTIONING.
  3. Turn captions on or off.

Customize your captions:

  1. Access the Captions menu with the steps listed above, then select STYLE.
  2. Change captions to your preferences.

Samsung TV Plus

Samsung TV Plus

If you have Samsung TV Plus, you can access the captions menu with the following steps.

  1. On the Home screen, click on the SETTINGS icon.
  2. Click on GENERAL, then ACCESSIBILITY.
  3. From there, click on CAPTION SETTINGS.
  4. Press CAPTION to turn subtitles on or off.

Enjoy More Functional TV

Closed captions and subtitles make watching TV easier and more accessible for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. With this helpful guide, you can now turn subtitles on and off as you need, for maximum enjoyment of entertainment content.